9 Years

Today, my special lady friend and I have been joined in Holy matrimony for nine years. Her presence in my life makes evident to me everyday that God is very close, very real, and overflowing with endless love. I feel gratitude in this moment that has no limit. Thanks, sweetie for being who you are!

(Editorial note: my wife is not topless in that photo. just a strapless dress is all.)

Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan

Photo by Platon for The New Yorker

One of the more powerful moments in Colin Powell’s appearance today on Meet the Press was when he talked about a 20 year-old Muslim soldier named Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, who gave his life in military service while on duty in Iraq. He made a point that one can be a Muslim and also a patriot who is willing to give the ultimate sacrifice for this country. It’s really a point that one would think wouldn’t have to be made in 2008, in a country that was birthed from a desire for religious freedom.

It’s interesting that in today’s political climate, a major line of attack coming from the GOP is the possibility that Obama is a Muslim-as if being a Muslim is somehow not consistent with being an upstanding citizen of this country. I’m thankful that Powell, who many in this country admire greatly, made this point today and made it beautifully.

You can see the rest of Platon’s photo series here.

(HT: Jason Linkins)

Graduates, Let Your Life Speak

I read Parker Palmer’s “Let Your Life Speak” a few years ago and it is easily one of the most important books I’ve read in my lifetime. In it Palmer introduces us to an authentic realization of vocation. He shares his own life experiences as examples of how he moved through a false sense to a more authentic, true sense of vocation. He writes:

“Today I understand vocation quite differently–not as a goal to be achieved but as a gift to be received. Discovering vocation does not mean scrambling toward some prize just beyond my reach but accepting the treasure of ture self I already possess. Vocation does not come from a voice “out there” calling me to become something I am not. It comes from a voice “in here” calling me to be the person I was born to be, to fulfill the original selfhood given me at birth by God. It is a strange gift, this birthright gift of self. Accepting it turns out to be even more demanding than attempting to become someone else!”

“We arrive in this world with birthright gifts–then we spend the first half of our lives abandoning them or letting others disabuse us of them. As young people, we are surrounded by expectations that may have little to do with who we really are, expectation held by people who are not trying to discern our selfhood but to fit us into slots. In families, schools, workplaces, and religious communities, we are trained away from true self toward images of acceptability; under social pressures like racism and sexism our original shape is deformed beyond recognition; and we ourselves, driven by fear, too often betray true self to gain the approval of others.”

Ever since I’ve read this book, I always think about (and usually re-read) these words around graduation time. As I remember my own graduation from high school, it was both a celebration and mind melt all rolled into one. Woohoo! Party!……..What next? What am I going to be? The funny about this is is that if someone were to ask me what I would “want to be” in a perfect world, it would be to make a living playing drums in a rock band. And here I sit 15 years later, exactly what I “wanted to be” and still Palmer speaks to a truth that resonates so profoundly in my heart. I absolutely love what I do. The opportunity to play music with three of your best friends is more life giving than I probably realize. But in the end, even if you end up doing exactly what you wanted to do and you prove more successful than you could have imagined, you can still lose sense of who you truly are, you can still lose your true essence of being. You can get caught up in the game of acceptability and that is a devastating pursuit for anyone, regardless of what they do.

If you know anyone who is graduating and stands at the crossroads of “doing” and “being”, this book would be a profound gift.

Great Food In The East Valley……

…..is rare. There’s not a whole lot in terms of great food. Of course there’s always the major chains and overall the selection is pretty decent. But very rarely do you come across a place that is great, unique to the area and independently owned and operated. We’ve come across a place that fits the bill on all categories. It’s an Asian cuisine place called Mei Xiang. It’s located 1534 East Ray Road in Gilbert. The only reason we found it is that our daughter takes ballet lessons next door. Otherwise, I don’t think we would have happened across it. The Spring rolls with spicy mustard sauce are amazing and our favorite dish is the Mei Xiang fried rice. If you live in this area, it definitely worth checking out.

Anyone else have any tips on other places worth checking out?

Like Father, Like Son

I happened to catch the most recent episode of Costas NOW which is a show on HBO featuring Bob Costas that hits on many varied issues in the sports world. In the this episode he included an amazing story on David Robinson, who is Jackie Robinson’s youngest and only surviving child. After being raised and educated in the United States, David has returned to Tanzania to live and contribute to his native continent where he feels most at home and alive. After living there for several years, he has been adopted by a Tanzanian tribe and has immersed himself in the local tribal culture. He said this about what drew him to go back to Africa (this is an amazing quote):

“a sense……an actual smell of Ethiopia has been with me my entire life. It’s a feeling of peace and contentment…..the feeling that you are on the place in which you can make what will be your life’s contribution.”

In an attempt to create a model for community economic development, he helped form a cooperative of over 300 small scale Tanzanian coffee farmers. Although the coffee industry is a billion dollar per year industry, the local coffee farmers of Tanzania remain dirt poor and with little hope of creating enough space for themselves in the world of fast paced, competitive, american big business. For more information about this co-op, check out Sweet Unity Farms. If you have HBO, I highly recommend you seek this show out. Continue reading

Camping (In the Backyard)

[[image:52443307_be5bc491bc.jpg::center:0]]Ava, my daughter, has recently been asking about going camping. She’s just turned 4 and for some reason, she’s latched on to the idea that we need to go camping, make smores and tell “spooky stories” in the tent with the flashlight on. Ava is a very specific little girl and she expects the details to be met, but she never specified “where” we had to camp. So I took the liberty of arranging a little camping trip to the backyard. I’m not sure I’m ready to clue Ava in on the fact that camping traditionally happens in a nature setting like the woods or the mountains or the high dessert. For now, the backyard does the trick but I have the feeling that she’ll figure it all out and the backyard option will be trashed.

I have to say, it was a ton of fun and the whole family was in on the action. Even as our large dog, Rita, walked by the tent, we were able to imagine her shadow as one of a ferocious Bear ready to attack our tent.

Check out more photos of our first family camping trip right here. Continue reading

Almost Home!!

I have a little over a week before I’ll be home for good. I am so not into traveling right now and that homecoming will be sweeter than honey. I will be going home for a day tomorrow for Ava’s 4th birthday and that will be so much fun. It will be hard to get back on the plane and head to Sacremento for rock at the Arco Arena. Doesn’t Arco gas totally suck? I am starting to form a to do list for when I get home. Here it is so far:

1. Buy a hammock
2. Buy a really big cooler
3. Buy some ice
4. Buy some beer
5. Put ice in cooler
6. Put beer in ice
7. Kick it.

I’m sure I’ll be adding to that list but that’s kept me pretty excited so far. Continue reading

Way to go Dad!

[[image:230200.jpg::right:0]]Last night my father, Jack Lind, won the 600th game of his career as a minor league manager. He’s been in professional baseball ever since he left Arizona State University early when he was drafted by the Houston Astros. He spent a majority of his years in baseball in the minor leagues, both as a player and a manager. I’m really proud of my Dad. His passion for teaching young players how to care about the game and how to be great teammates is something I try to take with me in the experience of my own life. Good going Dad!

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Elvis and My Beard


Right now I am in Kristiansand, Norway enjoying some of the midnight sun. The amount of daylight we get up here is very disorienting. Anyway, the highlight of the week was definitely seeing Elvis Costello live for the first time ever. He is truly amazing and his back up band, The Imposters, aren’t too shabby either. I saw him at a festival we played in Belgium. His dressing room was right next to ours and it was pretty amazing to be so close to a walking legend. His new album, The Delivery Man, that he did with the Imposters is really great. There is a song on there called Country Darkness that has an incredible vocal performance. Audio gold. He played that song and it was humbling to say the least.

And, as you can see, my beard is getting out of hand. I didn’t bring a razor on this trip so I’m gonna have to figure something out before I go home. But it’s kinda fun to work on my viking look while I’m in Scandanavia. So far we’ve been to England, Spain, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, and now Norway. It’s been a great trip but I’m really excited to get back to AZ in a few days. That’s it for now. Peace.

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